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Harbour Boats with Citadel in Background, Castellon de la Plana, Valencia, Spain
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Cooking Class in Valencia (Traditional Cuisine) If you are interested in learning how to prepare Traditional Spanish dishes but you do not have too much time to dedicate to it, consider a morning in the kitchen, followed by a three course lunch more...
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Featured Castellon Province Hotels  /  Tours in Valencian Community
Valencian Community / Costa Blanca Self-Catering/Vacation Rentals
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Towns in and Around Benidorm
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Towns in and Around Benidorm   by Clinton Maxwell
It is now called Calpe, which means steep, rocky hill, but when it was settled by the Phoenicians, it was called Ifach, which simply means "north". But by any name, this beautiful town is a perfect spot for a vacation on Spain's Costa Brava on the Mediterranean Sea. Ideally situated between Altea and Benidorm to the south and Denia to the north, the town of Calpe recognized its prime location as far back as 1935, when its first resort hotel opened and hosted such notables as the author Hemingway.

The lovely town and beautiful soft sand beaches are a main attraction, to be sure, but one of the most interesting sites for most visitors to the area is the rocky crag called Penon de Ifach, that gave the town its original name. Penon de Ifach is actually a natural park in Spain, the smallest in the country along with Columbretes Islands in Castellon

Harbour Boats with Citadel in Background, Castellon de la Plana, Valencia, Spain
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Village of Ares Del Maestre, Castellon, Valencia Region, Spain
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The Spanish decided to name it a natural park in 1987 in order to protect its 300 species of vegetation and bird life which was being threatened by the urban sprawl that the originally small, quiet fishing village of Calpe was experiencing at that time. For nature lovers, the 35 hectares offer botanical landscapes as well as areas of tectonic interest. Some near extinct species of birds, such as the swift and the silver seagull and some plants found no where else on earth are protected in this natural preserve.

It is not an easy climb, but for those who master the summit of this unusual rock formation, the view is worth every effort. The climb up is a serpentine route along the rocks, through a tunnel which was dug in 1918, to a peak which looks down on the beautiful Costa Brava. The park is free, but the authorities have wisely limited visitors to 50 per hour, so during busy seasons such as the summer and Easter week, you have to get a ticket to go up the mountain. Even if you have never attempted any sort of mountain climbing, the lure of Penon de Ifach will make you very glad you tried.

You can visit Calpe either by flying into Valencia airport, 105 kilometers away, or fly into Alicante airport, 61 kilometers away. If you rent a car, you will follow the N332 national highway which is toll free, or the A-7 highway. On the A-7, there are tolls, but the route is quick and safe, and recommended during the busy summer season. If are not renting a car, you can take a bus from either airport.

Since this is now such a popular tourist spot, you can choose among dozens of places to stay. From a rudimentary camping spot, to an inexpensive hotel for only 45 euros per night, to something a bit nicer at the base of the Penon (about 80 euros per night) to a luxe hotel right at the beach, in the range of 150 euros, you will find something to suit your taste and pocketbook.

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Valencian Community / Costa Blanca Self-Catering/Vacation Rentals
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About the Author: Clinton Maxwell very often publishes newsletters on ideas associated with Benidorm. His observations on Benidorm and Calpe are published on his web publications.




Search for more hotels in Alcocéber and surrounding areas
Hotel Alcocéber
The Hotel Alcoceber is a modern, holiday hotel located within 200 metres of Alcoceber's many beaches and 300 metres from the marina and shops.  For those that want to check out some places of outstanding beauty, the Sierra D'Irta and the wetlands of L'Estany, one kilometre from the hotel, are recommended. The Restaurant Mediterraneo provides guests with dishes derived from Mediterranean cuisine and available from an a la carte menu. A buffet restaurant also serves Mediterranean snacks and well-known dishes and guests can dine on the hotel's outside terrace that overlooks the sea and swimming pool. Drinks and cocktails are available from the hotel's bar . The swimming pool itself is lagoon-style and the surrounding area features palm-trees, sun-beds and parasols.
Hotel Jeremias, Alcocéber
Seafront Hotel situated in the typical village Alcossebre (Castellón), near the Natural Park Sierra de Irta. The Hotel Jeremias is situated directly by the beach Cargador, one of the beautiful sandy beaches in the Azahar Coast. Alcossebre is known by its beautiful long beaches, its restaurants and bars, offering a variety of local dishes, as well as international cuisine. The Hotel Jeremias is a quiet hotel with 40 rooms, many of them with sea views. Most of the rooms have balcony, full bathroom, satellite TV, room service, telephone, air conditioning and independant heating system. Buffet restaurant with a wide variety of Mediterranean dishes. Beverages not included. Free Internet for customers. Wifi Zone.
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Exterior and pool Parador de Benicarló - Castellón Province
This Parador is located next to the quiet beaches of Benicarló, in the heart of the Costa del Azahar, just 30 metres from the sea. It has a monumental garden (20,000m2) in which the well cared-for lawn, the swimming pool and the exotic palm trees stand out. Summer barbecues, a tennis court and children's playground are a complement to a quiet but active stay, thanks to the numerous activities which can be undertaken. Along with the buffet, the marine cooking with shellfish and rice is the most representative offer of the restaurant, not forgetting the famous Benicarló artichoke.


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AC Hotel Castellón
A modern hotel, the AC Hotel Castellón is centrally located just two kilometres from Castellón's port, and 10 kilometres from fine beaches. The Grao de Castellón Port is two kilometres away and Benicassim's beach is 10 kilometres from the hotel. After a day's sightseeing, guests can have a quiet drink or light meal at Bar AC. Complimentary newspapers are available in the lobby, and business guests are well catered for with a technology helpdesk, business services, two conference rooms, and wireless Internet in public areas. Practical amenities include 24-hour room service, garage parking, and a safe-deposit box at the front desk. The Sala Restaurant, with its stylish minimalist furnishings, offers creative Mediterranean dishes and fine Spanish wines and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 
Hotel Luz Castellón
Located in front of the train and bus station, five minutes walking from the Castellon city centre and a few minutes from the main roads of the city, is placed this four star hotel, modern functional and adapted for leisure and business needs. The hotel offers parking for clients with more than 100 spaces, with direct access to the rooms, gym, business centre and sauna, complete the wide range of services and facilities available in the Luz Castellon Hotel.  The hotel also has a cafeteria service. Restaurant 'Agua' - Purity in the shapes, in the flavours, smells and textures of a personal and traveller cuisine, respectful and funny, that surprises and renews with the aim to make you enuoy in every moment the quality of our products, chosen daily among the best of our markets. 
Hotel Vincci Castellón Center
This contemporary glass-fronted property is located in Castellon's commercial district, 400 metres from the restaurants, theatre and basilica. Guests arriving by car find a parking garage; further provisions include room service at mealtimes, tour assistance and valet parking. Valencia Airport is a 50 kilometre drive away. The La Albahaca restaurant serves Mediterranean dishes and is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The dining room is modern, with pale wood flooring, white leather chairs and white linen-topped tables. Guests have access to an additional restaurant at Hotel Jaime I, which lies across the street from this hotel; Los Narajos serves Mediterranean food in an airy dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows and deep blue armchair-style chairs. The hotel offers guests use of the sauna, hot tub and gymnasium. 
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Search for more hotels in Peñíscola
Agora Spa Resort Hotel, Peñíscola
Hotel Agora is a modern spa hotel located in Peniscola, Spain, 400 metres from the old town and Peniscola Castle. The historic village of Sant Carles de la Rapita is 33 kilometres away.  The Irta Mountain range is within 15 kilometres of the hotel, and has 90 kilometres of mountain biking and hiking routes. The nearby beach offers a range of water sports. The hotel's spa centre offers a range of massage and beauty treatments, and houses a sauna, steam room, swimming pool, and gymnasium. Further amenities include a kids' club, hair salon, and 24-hour front desk. Hotel Agora serves breakfast every morning, and the restaurant serves Mediterranean rice and fish dishes.  Internet access is provided in public areas for a surcharge.
Husa Los Delfines, Peñíscola
Husa Los Delfines is located on the beachfront in Peniscola, Spain, with views of the town's ancient walls across the bay and the 13th-century castle where Pope Benedict XIII ('Pope Luna') lived. The Moorish old town and the harbour are 500 metres away. The hotel is located right on the seafront and has an outdoor swimming pool. The sunbathing terrace is edged with palm trees.  Husa Los Delfines has a terrace restaurant serving Mediterranean dishes, open for buffet style breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a pizzeria overlooking the sea and a coffee shop.  The 73 guestrooms have balconies with sea views, televisions, direct-dial phones and safes. 
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